Articles: Cooling

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Our regular readers know very well already that we regularly test all new CPU cooling solutions. It may be pretty hard to imagine, however, that we haven’t yet tested such important components for any type of cooling systems as fans. You all know that each cooler has its own fan and considering how many air cooling solutions there are out in the market, there are a great lot of fans available these days.

They differ not only by their dimensions and rotation speed. Although these are very important characteristics, they are still only the top of the iceberg. If you dig a little bit deeper, you will also find out that the fan differ by a number of other characteristics such as number and shape of the fan blades, type of bearings and their MTBF, noise level and airflow, static pressure and power consumption, and a few others.

Overclocking fans favor mostly 120x120x25mm fans as these are the most widely spread fans in contemporary CPU coolers as well as power supply units, which is also pretty important. That is why we put together a test session involving almost a dozen fans from six well-known manufacturers.

Testing Participants

In this section of our roundup all the fans participating in our today’s test session will be reviewed in the order they were tested, i.e. without any connection to the alphabetical or any other order.

GlacialTech SilentBlade GT12025-BDLA1

We will start our discussion with the least expensive model that is priced at only $6.5. Today GlacialTech SilentBlade lineup includes four models: GT12025-BDLA1, GT12025-HDLA1, GT12025-EDLA1 and GT12025-SDLA1 that differ from one another by the type of bearing used and their claimed mean time before failure. We are going to discuss a model featuring two ball bearings: GT12025-BDLA1.

The fan comes as an OEM unit, so there is no package or accessories to talk about. Just the fan made of black rough plastic:

Seven blades of this fan are claimed to rotate at a constant speed of 950 (±150) RPM according to the specification. They generate 18dBA of noise and create a 35.8CFM or 61.2m3/h airflow. According to the monitoring tool, the fan rotation speed is 930~940RPM and the level of generated noise measured at a 1m distance is really very low: around ~32.8dBA (while the subjective comfort zone is at ~34.5dBA).

The falcated fan blades look pretty aggressive:

Despite this fact, the static fan pressure is quite low compared to the other fans participating in our today’s roundup. It makes only 0.75mmH2O.

These GlacialTech fans are made by their daughter company called GaleMotor, which is stated on the fan rotor sticker:

SilentBlade GT12025-BDLA1 model is equipped with two frictionless bearings with claimed MTBF of 50,000 hours. We noticed no motor crackling during the entire test session. Unfortunately, the fan wouldn’t start at 5V voltage, only at 7V.

GlacialTech SilentBlade GT12025-BDLA1 fan has a three-pin cable almost 400mm long with a three-pin connector attached to a Molex-type adapter. If you use the latter, you will not be able to use standard fan rotation speed monitoring methods.

The fan is of average weight: 143.5g.

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